Tips for packing an organized weekend suitcase

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I live about four hours away from my family, which means I’m frequently taking weekend trips back to my hometown to visit them. Between all of the back and forth, packing and unpacking, I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping an organized weekend suitcase. Here’s my top ten tips for keeping a tidy weekender bag or suitcase.
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Mother’s Day Gifts for the Organized Mama

If you didn’t know already, Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday May 10th — that’s next weekend! It came up so fast this year and I can hardly believe that tomorrow is already May. Yikes!

Anyways, most Moms have a lot going on. Whether they have young kids, older children or grandchildren, help keeping their lives organized is always appreciated. Without giving the impression of “Hey, you’re a slob” or “Hey, you’re a neat freak,” any of the following gifts are perfect for any type of mother in your life. Check it out.

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How to organize warrantees, manuals and receipts in a binder

Have you ever bought something expensive and knew you had to hold on to the paperwork, instructions, CD and receipt for it? How many times have you put that paperwork in a drawer never to be seen again–especially a year later when you really really need it because you’re moving or need to reprogram something? If you’re anything like me (before I got organized), it’s probably happened more times than you can count.

If you’re a renter who tends to move around a lot, it’s so important to keep this type of paperwork organized. You’ll need user manuals to know how to program and reprogram your electronics, instructions so you can assemble and disassemble large furniture and receipts and warrantees incase things break. Make sure you’re prepared for any future move and set yourself up a warrantees manuals and receipts binder.
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First, I would like to say that I cannot take credit for the genius that is this binder. I completely stole this project from my inspiration for all that is organizing, Alejandra Costello from alejandra.tv. She’s a professional organizer and had tons of great videos full of tips and DIYs for organizing the spaces of your home–if you haven’t checked her out yet, now’s the time.

Also, I’ve linked all of the products I used in the body copy of this post. Just click on the name of the product and it will direct you to a site where you can purchase the items! Let’s get started.

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First, you’ll need a binder. I used a 3″ Better Binder from Staples. This particular binder is really high quality, large and sturdy enough to hold several poly envelopes.

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For the cover, I just slipped a piece of scrapbook paper into the front clear pocket and put a Martha Stewart Collection label over top of the plastic and used my labeler with some clear tape to make a label.

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Inside, I used clear poly envelope inserts for each item I have paperwork for. The “home” section has manuals and receipts for all of our home items, such as our bed frame, George Foreman grill, blender, etc.

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Make sure your poly envelopes have solid closures. These have velcro to keep everything inside the pocket and not all over the place. Also, if you have large manuals, instructional CDs or anything similarly bulky, you’ll want your pockets to be expandable as well.

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I just used a post-it sticky tab to the top of the poly envelope and used my clear label tape to label each section. There are so many different colors and styles of these that you can color code as you see fit.

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Don’t forget to fan out the placement of your labels so you can see them all at a glance!

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Taking the time to set up a binder like this might seem time consuming, this one small project will save you so much time later on. Never waste another second searching through a pile of papers and set yourself up with one of these bad boys, today!

If you’re into organizing, decorating, or are experiencing the growing pains of being an aging millennial, please subscribe by submitting your e-mail address in the sidebar. Also, you can follow me on Instagram @lifeinorder for pictures of the latest happenings in my highly organized life, or find me on Twitter @LifeInOrderBlog for 140 characters of amazing, 4x a day. Catch you next time!Signature

Why You Can’t get Organized: The 5 Most Common Organizing Mistakes

Have you ever organized your whole apartment just for it to fall apart within a week? Maybe you’ve tried to organize a space in your place but it just didn’t end up looking quite right or working like you had hoped. If so, you’re probably making one of the most common organizing mistakes without even knowing it. Here’s the top five reasons you can’t get organized.

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1. You strive for perfection over function.

Pinterest is the best thing to ever happen to the decorating and organizing world, but it’s also the worst. You’re number one source of inspiration can also be the thing that’s keeping you from getting organized. Instead of trying to make a space look like a pin on your Pinterest board, focus on making it work for your needs. The real reason to get organized is to live a more efficient life. Without proper function, a space isn’t really perfect, after all.

2. You organize a space to fit a bin or basket.

Beware the myth of “the bin.” A cute bin, basket or tray, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting organized. Many times, people buy organizing products without an intended use for them and then try to plan an entire space around a bin that’s too big, too small or just doesn’t work at all. Don’t force organizing products on your spaces–you may find you don’t need a product at all, so be sure you’re planning out your systems before purchasing products.

3. You don’t maintain.

An organizing system won’t work for you if you don’t work for it. It’s so important to be sure you’re taking responsibility of maintaining and nurturing the system you put in place, or it could all fall apart. That’s not to say that you can’t reorganize a system that’s not working for you anymore. Just like a bad relationship, you’ve got to know when to try harder, and when to try something new.

4. You think “tidying up” is the same as being organizing.

Throwing your mail in a pile on the edge of the desk, tossing clothes inside a dresser drawer or clearing off the dining room table doesn’t mean you’re getting organized. Clutter is still clutter even when you can’t see it. Take the time to put things back the right way so you know exactly where they are when you need them again. No exceptions.

5. You don’t focus on one-step organizing systems.

This is the biggest organizing mistake in the book. The key to effective organizing systems is making all of your essentials easy to put away and even easier to put back. If you have to move your blow dryer out of the way to put your hairbrush back and then move your blowdryer back again, you’re probably going to leave your brush on the bathroom counter time and time again. Make sure that when you’re setting up a system for an item you use daily, or even weekly, that it takes only one step to grab it, and one step to put it back.

If you’re struggling to get organized, you may want to consider some of the above mistakes before tackling your next organizing project. For organizing tips and tricks delivered to your inbox, please subscribe to my blog by entering your e-mail address into the right sidebar of this site, follow me on blog lovin’ or follow me on Instagram (@lifeinorder) or on Twitter (@LifeInOrderBlog).